Baltimore County Police Withhold Body Cam Footage in 3 Police Shootings
Police body cams have helped law enforcement departments tremendously over the last few years. In addition to body cams, police dashboard cameras are becoming increasingly popular in departments across the United States. The global law enforcement dashboard camera market was valued at $1,458.2 Mn in 2013 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (AGR) of 15.3% from 2014 to 2020.
Unfortunately, not every department across the country understands the benefits of police body cameras and, in some instances, they even withhold video evidence involving serious situations. According to The Baltimore Sun, in a complicated case, the Baltimore County Police Department is currently withholding body camera footage of three police shootings. “The County Executive has been clear from the beginning that footage from police body cameras has been and will continue to be released without delay as soon as it can be determined that the release of the footage will not compromise an ongoing investigation,” said Ellen Kobler, spokesperson for the Baltimore County Police Department.
Since January 2017, Baltimore County Police have shot six people in four separate incidents, two of which resulted in fatalities. Police body cameras caught all four shootings on video, but the police had only made one video public.
“Release could compromise the prosecution and the defendants’ right to fair trials,” added Elise Armacost, a police spokesperson. RT reports that the police department first began using body cameras in July 2016 and spent $12.5 million to equip its officers with sufficient cameras. By the end of the summer, more than 1,400 additional cameras are to be sent out to officers across the city. Maryland’s American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) stated that the recent attempts for the department to withhold the video evidence is “concerning.”
“Despite lip service being paid to transparency and accountability, both their policies and in their actions, what we are seeing is the opposite. We don’t simply have to take officer’s word for what happened in [a] particular situation,” said ACLU attorney David Rocah.
Although there are many uncertainties involved in the law enforcement industry better technology will undoubtedly improve departments across the country. If you want to learn more about the benefits of police body cams, contact 10-8 Video today.